Friday, June 14, 2013

Burning Event in the Bridge River Valley

Update: Saturday, June 22:  The Lillooet Fire Zone has cancelled ALL fire warden patrols in the area apparently due to the deluge of rain we have had.  Please be careful with any fires.  Also, the "Burn Man" organization has advised that this event is not a sanctioned, official "Burn Man" event and have asked that the "Burn Man" name not be used.  I have changed my title of my post in respect of that. 

Update Tuesday, June 18: My understanding is the organizers are now doing some of the appropriate things such as contacting the campground caretaker and has been communicating with the RCMP.  In addition the community of Bralorne has stepped up and are supplying fire suppression, and donations to provide porta potties, and Kokanee Helicopters are making themselves available during the burning of the structure.  So good on Bralorne people.   The RCMP do have a security plan in place.  

Update: Monday June 17.  This matter is now in the hands of Emergency officials. If you would like more information or have any concerns please contact the RCMP.

This morning through many emails and phone calls became aware of this article,
Vancouver Province Article and this proposed event in the Bridge River Valley.

I was also provided some communication from the organizers which in part stated: 
 " So now we are heading to Carpenter Lake, to the Gun Creek Campground, where a 2km square area... of open space awaits our return.
It’s a stunning location with a well kept campground next to it.
Being remote, no one cares what we do.
While we are close to Goldbrige BC, and just over the Hurley Road from Pemberton, we are far enough away from everything that we shall bother none.
I am dragging a very large sculpture in a full size school bus.
We have room for 6 people who want to split gas and enjoy a nice camping trip for a week."

The concern is obvious and I contacted RCMP, Lillooet Fire Zone and SLRD.  Once again, the Emergency Program Manager, Ryan Wainwright (best tax dollar any of us spends up here to my mind) has proved an invaluable asset to all of us tax payers in the Bridge River Valley.  He got right on it and this afternoon issued the following bulletin:

Hi folks -

This morning, the SLRD became aware of an event scheduled for next week in the Goldbridge area with potential public safety implications. I am passing this information along for the awareness of organizations who may have a response role:
*         The event is called "Cascadia Burn" ( ), and is a mini-Burning Man festival. The event will run from 17 - 23 June 2013.

*         The event is being held at the Gun Creek Hydro campground, with event activities on Gun Creek Flats, near Goldbridge. 

*         This is a non-ticketed event, open to all, and organizers are not providing anything in the way of extra services at the Gun Creek campground. There will be no provision for first aid on the site, and attendees are expected to self-regulate.

*         I spoke with event organizers this morning, and they project that 25 - 50 people will be in attendance. However, the event appeared in the The Province newspaper today (, and that could increase the number of attendees.

*         Because the projected number of attendees for Cascadia Burn is unknown, and no tickets are being sold for attendance, the event does not fall within the Special Event Permit By-law for the SLRD.
*         Cascadia Burn is being issued a fire ban exemption by BC Wildfire Management Branch (Kamloops Fire Centre), as the culmination of the event is the burning of a 24 ft. wooden sculpture on the Gun Creek Flats.

Also have heard the Lillooet Fire Centre plans daily patrols to this campground. 

I have to say I remain very concerned about a number of aspects of this:  50 people at the Gun Creek campground for a week, partying, burning 24 ft high structures, promotion through the front page of the Vancouver Province, the list goes on and on.  

I will continue to communicate with the various agencies about those concerns.
I will update this blog as more information becomes available.

Either way, if you're here might as well stop in and enjoy seeing a 24 ft piece high piece of art be burnt!  Perhaps we can sell something to raise funds for our community at this event!  No one ever said things aren't interesting in the Bridge River Valley!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Do you own the timber on your property? and other lovely items

Just want to extend a special acknowledgement to Clr. Patricia Heintzman, Squamish who is the Chair of the SLRD.  She braved the Hurley just after it was opened, attended the Community Partners Dinner sponsored by BRVCA, then spent the next morning with Sal and I touring Gun Lake from the boat and also going through the Community Resource Building and having lunch at the Gold Bridge Hotel.  Chair Heintzman always tries to "add value" whereever she goes making suggestions, using her networks to help us, and most of all being a source of encouragement and support.  Thank you very much Patricia!!!

Do you own the timber on your property?
Some mineral claims that were issued in the 1920's and 1930's conveyed surface and subsurface rights to the landowner.  These claims did not, however, convey the rights to the timber for any use other than for the epxressed purpose of mining.  In other words, the Crown retained the rights to the timber unless it was to be used for mining purposes.  Cutting the trees without a valid authority may be in contravention of Section 52 of the Forest and Range Practices Act.

Some landowners may not be aware that they do not hold the timber rights.  The "State of Title Certificate" issued by the Land Title Office does not specify those rights.  In order for a landowner to determine the extent of their rights they must obtain a copy of the original mineral claim over the property issued under the authority of the Mineral Act.  It is highly rcommended that you do so prior to any trees being cut.  A copy of the mineral claim can be obtained by accessing an internet web site at the following address:   You will be required to set up an account and a fee will be charged for each request made.  Account and fee information is available on the web site.

If a landowner determines that they do not have the rights to the trees but wishes to remove timber they must make application for a cutting authority.  Inquiries can be made at the Cascades Forest District 250 878 8400.  The compliance and enforcement office is currently Brad Beaupre (250) 256-1429.

This applies to Bralorne, Gold Bridge and Gun Lake areas for sure.  Not sure yet about Tyaughton Lake.  I am going to find out how we can get this changed.  We are also make enquiries as to what impact/difference this mades to Fuel Mitigation activities by the CROWN on private property where they still hold timber rights.

Do you have a dock or wharf, or other building in or near the foreshore on a lake or stream?
Much as many of us don't want to hear this, you must either make application or notification of building in or near a lake or stream.  Please read the attached for how to do so:

I would also note that MFLNRO now has a Natural Resource Compliance and Enforcement Officer in Lillooet.  His number is 250 256 1429 if you wish to contact him and make questions.

Clean wood waste drop off
Following successful completion of a pilot program last summer, the SLRD is providing free wood waste collection at the Gold Bridge Transfer station all summer. 

YES:  Wood must be clean, organic wood debris like pruned branches, shrubs, stumps, fallen trees.

NO:  Lawn trimmings, treatedlumber, furniture, construction material and non wood waste.  These items are able to be dumped elsewhere at the Transfer Station paying the usual tipping fees.

Interface wildfire is a critical danger in the Upper Bridge River Valley.  This initiative is designed to assist residents in making their properties Fire Smart.  Firesmart manuals are available at the Community Resource Building as well as at

Remember dumping any kind of clean or non clean wood waste anywhere BUT at the Transfer Station creates more of a fire hazard, an eyesore and is illegal.  Please deal with this material on your own property or take advantage of this opportunity.

Spruce budworm spraying on Crown Land
There are signs up around Gun Lake and Tyaughton Lake currently advising of the window for spraying for the Spruce Budworm from June 10 to July 5 weather permitting.  The program is being conducted by MFLNRO.
Spray area:  DRAFT map of spraying in our area

Lots of other info previously on my blog about this. 

District of Lillooet :  Reduction of Funding to SLRD

For those of you that read this article  Lillooet News Article it might have raised an eyebrow or two.  I want to let you know that the SLRD was unaware of this and I, as your Area A regional district director have not agreed to anything.  This is the presentation by District of Lillooet of how they think they are going to deal with their budget issues, nothing more and nothing less.  I will keep you in the loop as this progresses.

Gold Trail School District, Community Conversations and the Gold Bridge School
The Gold Trail School District has been holding a number of Community Conversations in order to build a long term facility plan (due out September).  The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Gold Bridge School both from a funding perspective and an enrollment perspective is perpetuating a negative cycle which is affecting the long term future of this school.  Rather than undertake another volunteer led process with scare resources and volunteers stretch so many ways, I have proposed to the School District to be a stakeholder and in part fund a School Viability Plan.  Major businesses, the PAC, BRVCA, the Library and many others have expressed in writing their support of their approach.  The plan would address educational model, educational content, marketing, community amenities, population recruitment and other community development aspects.     Letter and Submission to School District

Invasives around Gun Lake
Thank you to Interior Roads who will mow certain areas around Gun Lake.  Last year the Canada Thistle became very obvious and many volunteers got a lot of exercise pulling them out.  I contacted everyone I could think of to get help and have to hand it to Interior Roads for coming to our aid.  We cannot time the mowing so hopefully it will work out!  Thanks Phil Doddridge!!!